Friday, October 28, 2011

Beach House Photo Fridays #5 The Window Seat

I had a difficult time trying to decide what beach house photo to feature this week - finally decided that I would pick something from Coastal Living's 2011 Ultimate Beach House in Norfolk, Virginia.  Then to decide which room to show?  Decisions... decisions....

Maybe it's just because I am seeking a little respite from crazy pre-holiday rush,  I was drawn to this window seat view in the Master Bedroom.

Can't you imagine it?  Snuggled in with a pile of fluffy pillows, a cozy warm throw, a pile of your favorite magazines, or better yet - that juicy romantic novel that you just can't wait to start (although you know that once you pick it up, you won't put it down!).  Ah.... the perfect spot to spend a Sunday afternoon.  Not sure how much reading I would get done though, might be a lot of daydreaming while watching seabirds play in the wind and listening to the constant strum of the incoming tide.

I really need a day off.

I would need a bigger side table for my hot chocolate and cookies (hey, it's Sunday - I am allowed!)  Arteriors is one of my favorite home decor accent companies - love their driftwood tables!  When decorating a coastal beach house it's important to mix in natural elements to bridge the gap from the outside to the inside. Beautiful driftwood accents can do that without detracting from what the real attraction is - the VIEW.

Piles of Pillows!



Can't help it, I am still wild about our eco-art pillows - and they have a NEW lower price.  (The crab is a brand new design!)



maybe our new soft, cuddly knit pillows?  Love these with the seabirds on them.....

And now for a cozy throw.... the Camelot collection from Bedford Cottage is still a go-to favorite of mine!  We could not keep these in stock in our store in Poulsbo...
... or maybe one of our new luxury "snuggle-factor" throws?















Now for a classic brass telescope - wow! There are so many to choose from -

From Stanley London



From Brass Binnacle









My favorite place to look for interesting nautical telescopes and binoculars is Cuttysark, located in the heart of Pioneer Square, downtown Seattle.  You never know what you might find there!  (They even have a website - http://www.cuttyantiques.com)

My book choices? Well, I am still savoring my French Seaside Style, and my new Southern Living Style books.. (kind of romantic?)

Have a great Halloween Weekend everyone!  We have friends coming down from Portland, wine tasting and being San Francisco tourists is on our agenda.

Make sure to enjoy, and take some time out for some essential day dreaming time.  I promise I will too.




Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Confessions of a Professional Beachcomber


I am so excited about our new holiday collection from Chris, I think you will be too! I asked her if she'd like to write a guest blog post explaining her inspiration for her designs, and she was more than gracious to stay up late one night, typing, when I know she'd rather be painting!  This is her story, in her words sent over to me.  As a fellow Pacific Northwest girl, I can totally understand why she's inspired by the scenery, and lifestyle in the Puget Sound.  

These stockings are only a small selection of her fabulous holiday collection!


Guest blogger: Crabby Chris

It’s true, what they say about self-employment:   When you work for yourself, you only have to labor half a day; then you can do whatever you want in the remaining twelve hours.   Aside from the requisite six hours of sleep, I must have my recommended daily allowance of beachwalking – for research, of course, for my handpainted beach-inspired pillows.

The R&D process takes me to water’s edge; here I draw inspiration from the fascinating life forms, colors, sights, scents and sounds of the place where the ocean meets the land.   Living on an island in Puget Sound, I am sensitized to the rhythms of nature, the water’s ebb and flow, the angle of the sun, the calls of the seabirds.  I love to paint images of the creatures with which I share this beautiful locale, and also those that populate the exotic places I have yet to experience.

When our amazing shrinking family moved to our beach house a few years ago, I began doing lots of “beachy” activities – assembling Adirondack chairs, sewing crustacean quilts, and painting pillows for our sundrenched deck.   Soon our neighbors noticed our bright-colored crab pillows and wanted some of their own.  One day I asked a local shop owner if my painted pillows might help market her colorful outdoor furniture.  They did, and suddenly I was painting and sewing pillows six days a week.   You can usually tell what I’ve been working on from the color of paint under my fingernails.

I have a few things to confess... with the sincere hope that the reader will not judge me too harshly
  1. I paint in my jammies
  2. When on the beach I sometimes lose track of time.
  3. I prefer Dungeness crab over lobster
  4. I've never seen a piece of driftwood I didn't like.
  5. On really busy days, I forget to apply makeup - sorry.
  6. I am compelled to photograph as many sunsets as possible
  7. The squawk of a great blue heron sounds like music to me
  8. I sometimes awaken at 3:30 am with a fabulous design idea
  9. I have collected more seashells than I can count

They say confession is good for the soul.  I must admit I feel a little better coming clean, but I sincerely hope that  others not  become unduly burdened by these disturbing revelations.  The next time you see a sunburned blonde with paint under her nails, please be kind.  She doesn’t get much sleep.

(I think she looks pretty great for no sleep, and no makeup!)

I put together these collages of coastal holiday decorating ideas - all featuring Chris' awesome tree skirts. I have never seen any beach house decor done like her designs, all finely finished - they will last a lifetime, and will become treasured family favorites.






Traditional red and green colors, but with a decidedly "beachy" flair!  The tumbled sea glass ornaments are also products from another Pacific Northwest artist.....
 I call this collection Nantucket - with the nautical touches of miniature striped buoys and bright green lobsters, and candy cane striped lighthouse stockings. 

Blues, Aquas, seashells and a more than a few mermaids!  (P.S.  The Mermaid stockings can be customized with different hair color shades)
Highlighted with corals, red and white decorations - this would be an easy look to complete for your shore holidays!




All of these coastal holiday decorating ideas can be found online in our Beach Coastal Holiday Category!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Heaven on the Big Sur Coastline - My first time

Okay, I had this big plan for blog posts for the next 3 weeks, a whole series on fall decorating tips for coastal decorating, (can be a bit of a challenge!)  but there just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to get everything done lately.  I am racing the clock before our holiday advertising starts kicking in.  YIKES!!!

This past week, I've added over 75 new items to the Caron's Beach House  site, and edited 200 more,  +  handled customers, placed orders, wrote checks - you know, the usual small biz owner stuff.  Not a whole lot of time to be extra creative...

These past few weeks have been a little rough, as I have been totally glued to my computer and phone.  Burn-out was becoming pretty evident, as Tom would come home from slaying the mortgage dragons, and I hadn't even thought about dinner, laundry, or anything else domestic. (I did manage to take a shower before lunch!)  Thank goodness he appreciates my "Martha" days, and cuts me slack on the days when I am not so "Martha"!

Did I ever tell you, I have the best boyfriend on the planet?  Tom knew that I NEEDED a day off.  This past Saturday, we jumped in the old faithful Pontiac (muscle-girl car!) and  he took me on the most incredible day trip down the Big Sur coastline.  Oh my gosh - I think this day will go down in memory as one of the best days ever!

I think the pictures will say it all.  These were all taken on the stretch of road between Carmel and Big Sur - we were total tourists!










Of course, we had to stop and have a glass of California Zin, and some Rocky Point Restaurant famous cheesy bread.  Truly I would have been happy to sit and watch the crashing Pacific Ocean for the entire day right on their deck...

This is the only ocean-front restaurant on this stretch of road, it's a "can't miss" if you ever get a chance to head this way.  Just be prepared for a little wind!























I promise to finish my "beach decorating for fall" series of posts starting again on Tuesday....really, I do.






Friday, October 14, 2011

Beach House Fridays #3


Pinterest can be very dangerous for me, but it's a great place to discover new ideas and be inspired!

I love this room with its' clean contemporary, modern lines and just a few dashes of traditional coastal elements. Especially like the mix of trending navy blue, white piping, and the hot color of the season - coral.

Coastal living is not always about cottage, it can be so much more - modern, hip, high-fashion!

What do you think?

Get the look!

Discovered at Etsy - WOW!
Orange Coral Pillow


At Caron's Beach House - Coral Reef Bowl (one of my favorite things on our site!)


Modern Eco-Art Styling! Sapphire Blue Starfish Pillow



















Chevron design vase from Jill Rosenwald - discovered at Orange and Pear









or maybe a pretty hand-blown glass vase... from Overstock.com



Modern Coffee Table from Design Within Reach










And, last but never the least - gorgeous coral orange flowers! (All from Teleflora)




Have a great Friday everyone!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Beach House Friday Photo #2

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!


So, while we have a jammed packed weekend ahead of us, this is the living room that I will be dreaming about.  Pour me a glass of red wine, find me a cozy throw and  my favorite design books. Turn on the Frank Sinatra,  maybe a little Harry Connick Jr.....I won't be leaving this room anytime soon.

(Image courtesy of Coastal Living Magazine)



.




And maybe a cozy down-filled pillow, just in case I feel the need to take a nap listening to the ocean waves...




















Wednesday, October 5, 2011

An Autumn Driftwood Centerpiece

I think I might finally be ready for fall, although I really don't want to admit it.

 If you are anything like me, I resist until the very last second - but this week it is unseasonably cold, wet and damp in our little stretch of Northern California, and it is time to face reality and break out some of the fall decorating.  Darn it.  (picture taken at Half Moon Bay at one of our famous Pumpkin Farms)

Unfortunately, so many people relate coastal decorating to a summer motif, but it doesn't have to be so cliche'.  Think about it, how many of us really live in warm climates all year?  I have lived most of my life on the water in the Puget Sound,  and still live within 5 minutes of the San Francisco Bay (it's a great view from my office window!) both places cannot claim tropical sunshine as their normal weather patterns.... 

Fall and Winter on the coast to me are about hot chocolate, windy beach walks, cozy sweaters, reading books by the fire or simply staring out the window at the rain streaking over the ocean or bay.

But I digress....I had this great idea a few weeks ago, to "sort of" recreate a driftwood table centerpiece that we saw at the Coastal Living "Pacific Retreat" Idea house in Pacific City, Oregon in 2006.  (That's another story, for another day...)  

First I needed a good piece of driftwood. So, off to the coast to find just the right piece!  (like I need an excuse to go for a beach walk?)  It can be a little tricky to find just the right piece, however,  because you need  one that has dimples and valleys to set candles in.  It needs to still lay flat and look interesting on your display area.  The other thing to remember, is that your piece will need to air dry for several days before you can use it. Especially since it will have tiny sand grains in all of the nooks and crannies, that will continue to pour out.  

Ah ha!  Found a few interesting pieces of driftwood to try. I have the best cabana boy....


A few days later, Allison and I were in T.J. Maxx and grabbed this pumpkin spice scented seaglass potpourri - perfect to add to my centerpiece!  The price was right too - only $4.99

Good News!  I still have candle votive holders left over from a summer party.  These are from Ikea, totally affordable, and necessary when the base of my centerpiece is wood. (I have a little problem with fire - ask my kids, or my former landlord in Poulsbo)


Here's a close up of the right end of the centerpiece - including a treasured glass float from my friend Kamichia, from Glass Float Junkie.  All shells are from my own collection - tried to only use brown, amber or white shells.


And here' a close-up of the left end.  Allison and I bought the tiny pumpkins at our favorite Half Moon Bay fruit stand, shells are from Half Moon Bay and the Washington Coast.  The sparkly starfish was a gift from my good friend Chris Chennault.

Voila'!



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